You might have some questions running through your mind about these two Japanese knives, such as which of these knives do I need in my kitchen or the major difference? At the end of this article, you will find answers to them.
Santoku bocho and Nakiri bocho are exceptional knives that most professional chefs and home cooks use during their food prep.
These knives are constructed like the samurai swords used in the past for fighting wars. One outstanding feature of both Santoku and Nakiri knives is their delicacy.
They are used to perform specialized kitchen tasks. The design of both knives are old fashioned but sturdy and is still very much in use for food preparation tasks.
Without further ado, let’s take a look at the top 3 best Nakiri knives on the market:
A Quick Overview of Santoku Knife and Nakiri knife
Santoku knife is a multipurpose kitchen knife used primarily for vegetables and other tough kitchen tasks such as cutting meat.
This knife comes with a Japanese style blade, and the handle can either be a Japanese style or western style. Its blades are ground symmetrically. Santoku is not limited to only one kitchen task.
Santoku is a Japanese word that means a knife of three virtues. These virtues are dicing, mincing, and slicing. But this knife can still be used for cutting.
The average length of most Santoku knives is 6-inch, although you can have them in other lengths. A Santoku knife is easier to manage than other heavier knives. It has a blade curvature for chopping and rocking.
Due to the multipurpose feature of the santoku knife, it is more popular among the western chef’s. It can be used to replace a chef knife in the kitchen. The sharp, thin, long, and flat blade is perfect for cutting many different ingredients.
A Nakiri knife is uniquely designed with a thin flat blade that has no pointed tip. The blade is not too thick, which makes it easy to use, and it is lightweight.
This knife looks like a meat cleaver, Usuba. It is made for finesse work on veggies and is not suitable for heavy-duty meat or bone tasks. The handle is well structured in a way that your knuckles do not hit the chopping board when in use. The flat edge blade is perfect for chopping.
This knife has a standard blade length that ranges between 6 to 7-inch. Nakiri knives are seen in many Japanese kitchens. It has a flat blade that comes in full contact with the cutting board when in use, giving you a full cut and less chance of the vegetables sticking together by a thread.
Nakiri is a safer choice for slicing fruits, vegetables, and greens in the kitchen. You need to have at least one knife without a tip in your kitchen. It makes you look like a professional chef, even if you are not.
Santoku Vs. Nakiri Knife
You should not have any problem choosing between the santoku knife and the nakiri knife as their function varies as well as their design and shape. Here is an overview of a Santoku knife and Nakiri knife.
Once you are familiar with the blade design, differentiating both knives becomes easy. The blade design is one of the differences between a Santoku knife and a Nakiri knife.
Nakiri has a straight blade edge with a squared-off tip. Its rectangular-shaped allows for a clean cut through the veggies to the board using a horizontal push or pull motion.
Santoku has a wide surface blade that curves down to the tip.
Another difference between these knives is their functionality. It is good to know what a particular knife is designed to achieve better results in the kitchen. Their uses are very clear from what their names imply.
Santoku offers a more versatile usage than the nakiri knife, making it more popular than the nakiri knife. Nakiri is mostly for veggies and delicate foods. Santoku is for vegetables, fish, and meat
Traditionally, both knives have the same blade length, but nowadays, they come in various lengths, which range from 5-inch to 8-inch. The most common length for a Nakiri knife is 6-inch, and the standard length for a Santoku knife is 6-inch as well.
You get either a western handle style or a Japanese handle style with both knives depending on the brand. The handle that comes with many modern knives is different from how they were made. Most manufacturers try to design a more classic Japanese handle style for their knives.
Blade angle determines the cutting performance and edge retention. Santoku knife features a blade angle that ranges from 10 to 15 degrees on each side of the blade, making it a total of 20 to 30 degrees. For a Nakiri knife, both blade sides must be sharpened at 15 degrees per side. The sharp edge enhances the cutting performance by producing thin vegetable slices.
Top 3 Best Nakiri Knife Product Reviews
No. 1: Shun Premier Nakiri Knife
The top pick for Nakiri Knife on our list is Shun Premier Nakiri Knife. A reliable product from Shun. Made from VG-MAX Japanese super steel and cladded in 32 layers of Damascus steel. Handcrafted and hand-polished with premium quality materials by skilled artisans. Shun premium comes with a lifetime warranty. It has an elegant design.
The end cap is embossed with the shun logo. The tempering process and precision heat treatment harden the blade. The edge holds up longer and stays sharp for long. It is lightweight and less tiring to use. The ultra-thin blade glides through food with ease. Hand washing is the best way to care for the pakkawood.
Shun Premier Nakiri Knife features an ultra-sharp thin blade that is perfect for cutting vegetables and fruits paper-thin. This product is sturdy and durable. The heat treatment makes the double-bevel blade edge more fine-grained, harder, sharper, stronger, and thinner.
Hand-hammered finish with layered Damascus steel ensures a non-stick surface, enhancing the strength. It helps you to reduce drag when cutting and prevent the food from sticking to the blade.
This 5-inch nakiri knife has a handle made from pakkawood that ensures a comfortable and secure grip. The handle is ergonomically designed to fit your hand’s contour without causing a strain to your wrist after extended use.
Ensures secure grips
Requires extra care
Not suited for dishwasher
No. 2: Shun Cutlery Classic 6.5″ Nakiri Knife
This 6.5 -inch Nakiri knife is ideal for dicing and slicing. The handle is ergonomically designed for easy grip and can fit home cooks with even smaller hands.
The D-shaped handle made from an ebony-coloured pakkawood provides a firm grip and extra stability. The handle is a combination of durable, waterproof resin and strong, natural wood. The stainless steel bolster offers maximum safety.
The embossed stainless steel end provides an excellent finish giving the knife a sleek look. It is safe for handwashing.
It comes with a limited lifetime warranty.
Shun Classic Nakiri knife has a light razor-sharp blade that is constructed from advanced stainless steel. This provides you with exceptional control.
The blade has a double bevel edge cladded with 68 layers of Damascus stainless steel and VG-MAX steel. It is hand-polished to 16 degrees for easy precision. The handle is resistant to rust, stain, moisture, and corrosion.
This product is a versatile and durable knife that is useful in performing mundane kitchen tasks. It is perfect for chopping peppers, dicing onions, and slicing tomatoes. An excellent choice for delicate foods. The stainless steel blade is resistant to corrosion. It is constructed to serve both home cooks and professional chefs.
Solid edge retention
Not dishwasher safe
No. 3: Wusthof Classic 5″ Hollow Edge Nakiri Knife
This product is precision-forged from a single piece of high-carbon high-quality stainless steel. The blade features a hollow edge with 58 Rockwell hardness. The Triple-riveted handle with an embossed logo allows for maximum precise control of the blade.
The Nakiri knife is fully tanged with a handle made of Polyoxymethylene, a highly durable synthetic material that resists fading, stain, and discoloration.
This knife can serve as either a chef knife or a vegetable cleaver. It is perfect for slicing and dicing fruits and vegetables. The hollow edge is evenly spaced with vertical indentations that create small air pockets between the food and the blade. This helps in reducing friction and drag of food.
The blade was constructed with a precision edge technology that ensures the blade is 20% sharper with excellent edge retention. You enjoy an effortless food prep with this classic nakiri knife. The full bolster guards your fingers and ensures safety while you use it.
This product is crafted by one of the best, well-known, and oldest knife makers in the world. It is budget-friendly and offers great value for your money.
It offers an extremely high cutting performance, and the sharpness lasts longer. It guarantees an optimum cutting edge along the entire blade.
58 Rockwell hardness
High-carbon stainless steel
FAQs About Nakiri and Santoku Knives
Which of these knives is more versatile?
The most versatile knife between the Santoku knife and the Nakiri knife is the Santoku knife. As the name implies, it is a knife for three uses. Nakiri knife is mostly for veggies. The Santoku knife, on the other hand, is for fish, meat, and veggies.
Which of these knives is perfect for delicate foods?
The Nakiri knife is the perfect choice for delicate foods such as tomatoes.
How to choose a good Nakiri knife?- Japanese vegetable cleaver
If you want to have a collection of knives in your kitchen, there are a wide variety of knives on the market to choose from. As a professional chef, your knife set is incomplete without a few Japanese knives.
In the western world today, Nakiri and Santoku knives are the most widely used Japanese knives. Knowing the difference between these two knives will help you make better choices as regards to your needs and preference.